Ghana marks International Theatre Day with “Bukom”

Ghana on Wednesday climaxed activities marking the International Theatre Day with theatrical dance production titled; “Bukom,” which reflects typical social lifestyle of indigenous coastal citizens.

“Bukom” portrayed the mannerism of fisher folks, brutish attitude of local champions, truancy of children of school going age, vociferous nature of market women, and irresponsibly way-of-life of some men running after and lavishing money on every woman that appears on their romantic radar to the detriment of their families. Cast dramatically by the National Dance Company of the National Theatre, “Bukom” also publicised the boxing propensity of Bukom, an Accra suburb, which has produced most of Ghana’s boxing legends with an exhibition fight which ended with a technical knock-out but typical of street-fights, the referee raised the loser’s hand declaring him winner.

International Theatre Day instituted by the International Theatre Institute is observed globally on March 27 and was on the theme; “Peace and Reconciliation all Around the Globe,” aimed at celebrating the local theatre experience globally. As part of the activities marking the day in Accra, various theatre groups under the National Theatre, including Abibigromma, National Dance Company and National Symphony Orchestra, displayed their stage dexterity with their costume as they marched in front of the dignitaries. Ghana’s renowned play writer, Uncle James Ebo Whyte, Chief Executive Officer of Roverman Productions, a publishing and theatre production company said: “When somebody is not asleep but pretend to be sleeping, waking such a person up is a fruitless task.

“Everybody, especially policy makers, know the role of theatre in national development yet they all relegate it to the background…I contribute through my quarterly shows about GH¢15,000 in the form of VAT to government. Who says theatre has no economic benefit”. However, he advised operators in the art industry to explore opportunities available to seek for resources. “Don’t go to corporate bodies with cup in hand for favours. Go with good proposals exposing corporate Ghana to advertising opportunities, image boasting avenues and other opportunities for sponsoring or partnering the theatre performance”.

Uncle Ebo Whyte advised theatre performers to be resilient, inject professionalism into theatre management, instil personal and group discipline, and engage other professionals for inputs. Other speakers included: Efo Kodjo Mawugbe, Acting Executive Director of National Theatre; General Arnold Quainoo (Rtd), Executive Director of Centre for Conflict Resolution, and a representative from Ministry of Chieftaincy and Culture. Dignitaries at the ceremony were entertained to a colourful artistic display as Efo Mawugbe read his opening speech from a huge African calabash, whilst the two Masters of Ceremony, Ms Akosua Abdallah and Mr Mawuli Semevor were draped in Arabian design costume.

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